It was a tough day on the track for SA athletes attempting to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics this year at a special athletics meeting organised by Athletics South Africa in collaboration with Western Province Athletics in Green Point on Saturday.
Capetonian and SA champion in the 3000m steeplechase, Ashley Smith, won his race in 8min55sec. The Olympic qualifying time in his event was 8min22min. What made his effort particularly difficult was not having any partners on the track as he ran most of the race alone.
Another athlete who came close to booking his ticket to Tokyo is middle distance runner Lesiba Precious Mashele who, like Smith, ran most of the race alone and was only about five seconds outside the qualifying time in the 5000m event.
Glenrose Xaba was another athlete who suffered the same in the small field as her 5000m win was just over 41 seconds off the Olympic qualifying time.